KIDS DISCOVER SPACE App Review
App Name: KIDS DISCOVER SPACE
Mom’s Rating: 5/5
Kids’ Rating: 5/5
Recommended Grades/Ages: Grades 3-6
Skills Developed: Science, Astronomy, Space, Earth Science
Available On/Price: iPad – $4.99
Reviewed on: iPad
KIDS DISCOVER SPACE is a graphically rich, discovery-based app for children with a keen interest in space. Covering a broad range of topics, the app introduces young learners to objects in space, early astronomers, the sun, the earth (including its layers), the moon, the solar system and its planets (and objects), a detailed space exploration timeline, life in space, exploring Mars, and more. The app does cover each planet (even Pluto with an explanation of its reclassification) in summary with some fun facts in the solar system section, but some planets are also treated in detail – Earth, Mars, Venus, and Saturn all receive a more detailed treatment.
Opening with a guide to using the app, pages are read horizontally – they can be swiped between, or the screen can be tapped twice to bring up the table of contents from any page. Some pages include narration that is accessed by tapping a speaker button, many additional features can be accessed by tapping on objects that reveal further information, photos, diagrams, and more. Topics are filled with rich detail, providing both a solid core of information together with visually engaging diagrams, videos, simulations, pop-up images, and more. Children can even tip and tilt the iPad to fly an astronaut through space on a page explaining the need for maintenance on the International Space Station.
In addition to the 37 main pages of content (many of which expand into further detail, sub-topics etc.) the app also includes a nicely designed memory game where cards are flipped to reveal the planets and their names. This memory game is timed and a score is assigned based on the number of attempts it takes to match all the cards.
Some of the material is presented from an old-universe, big bang perspective – this is mentioned in several places throughout the app, but not throughout the entire app.
Other Notes: This app does not include in-app purchases, advertising, or social media integration. It does include some links to the web for further information that load within the app.
What We Liked:
It’s always exciting to see respected educational publishers producing high-quality apps, and KIDS DISCOVER SPACE is a great example of the quality a dedicated team can produce. All of the gorgeous images are high-resolution and so much care has gone into the layout of each beautifully designed page. Navigation from page to page is simple and drilling deeper into topics for detailed descriptions and photographs is as simple as a touch.
The images from space by NASA are breathtaking examples of stars, planets, galaxies, and even black holes, and although the app provides an incredible amount of visual stimulation (over 200 photographs), the educational content is well written and comprehensive in the topics it addresses.
This app will help provide fuel for the imagination when the ‘space bug’ hits and your child starts looking for as much detail as he can find about astronauts, probes sent to mars, how the sun works, life in space, and all the other questions eager minds provide.
What We Didn’t Like:
The app could benefit from some more interactivity (my nine-year-old made this recommendation) – it is largely a digital book with a few extras. Narration is inconsistent – some pages include it, others don’t – so I’ve rated it for independent readers. The memory game gives a score and time, but doesn’t store it anywhere for future comparisons.
KIDS DISCOVER SPACE is a visual feast for any child fascinated by the planets, space exploration, astronauts, the heavenly bodies, the sun, rockets – and so much more! An excellent exploratory resource for children, the gorgeous photographs and visual ‘extras’ encourage children to learn more about the universe around them while keeping interest levels high.
Have you downloaded this app? Let us know what you and your children thought – leave a comment!